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post #121 of 133 Old 01-05-2017, 11:34 PM
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That post was just tongue in cheek

On a serious note though I wonder if 2-3 mpg extra would actually save more than the added fuel cost. It would be very difficult to figure that out over a short term I suppose because of fluctuating fuel costs. Ie. the fuel prices you tested 87 at would have to be similar to the month you test 91, respectively. You'd have to want to know really badly to put the time and effort it would take to figure out.

I will say that in my last ride which recommended 89 octane I did not physically notice any hp difference. I see a few others here also said the same thing and I can't help but ask "who can really actually notice their vehicle driving 10 or so hp more or less?" The answer imo is that if you're noticing, it's placebo effect.

On to pricing, when I decided to drive the recommended 89 for a few months I obviously paid more each fill up. However I also noticed I was not filling up any less, and when I paid extra attention to weeks where I only drove to work and nowhere else, the same thing happened: I was refuelling on the same number of days for the same number of litres give or take a few. Nor was my EVIC showing any difference (and it was reset at the appropriate times to make sure I wasn't averaging both fuel types together).

So basically what I personally think the difference will end up being if I had stuck it out for a year, and this is just me purely speculating, is the premium might save me a couple hundred bucks over the course of a year... or it might cost me an extra couple hundred. In both scenarios such a small hp increase/decrease being imperceptible to the human brain.

Since I can't tell one way or the other, I'll just err on the side of what my wallet told me was happening last time I experimented with recommended over acceptable, which was that I was spending more each month without perceptibly driving any further or stronger. Disclaimer time: I'm in Canada and our gas is loaded with additives so ymmv. I do remember that the last time I gassed up in the USA, I definitely noticed that tank of gas lasted longer than I was used to. That was a decade ago though.
For me, the extra cost of 91 or 93 octane is not worth it. I'm fine running high tier 87.
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post #122 of 133 Old 01-06-2017, 01:11 AM
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I tend to agree that the peak HP difference (which is what Ford measures and presents in it's literature) is unlikely to be perceived by most drivers. IMHO few of us push the engine to the peak of the HP curve. However, I do believe that some driving styles will reveal measureable and genuinely perceptible increased acceleration performance afforded by higher octane.

We all know that octane rating is a measure of a fuel's ability to delay onset of engine knock (detonation) at higher compression ratios or more advanced ignition timing schemes under load (combustion chemistry). We also know that relatively more rapid timing advance, in the absence of detonation, is directly realized as quicker acceleration when a commensurate amount of fuel is provided (physics tells us it takes more energy, e.g. fuel, to accelerate an object more quickly).

The EcoBoost PCM allows the engine to, when demanded by rapid throttle input, maximize timing advance and boost to the limit just short of detonation as determined by sensitive knock sensors (those sensors retard timing at the barest hint of detonation, far below the threshold detectable to the driver). For lower octane fuel both the rate of increase and total degree of ignition timing advance is less than that for higher octane fuel (short of detonation). Small differences in octane rating (1 or 2 points in the 85-95 octane range) can have a significant effect on detonation-free rate and total ignition timing advance and small degrees of timing advance can have a significant effect on vehicle acceleration all other things being equal.

My point is, a driving style that 'enjoys' relatively rapid acceleration will, IMHO, realize a measureable (perceptible, if one prefers) increase in that 'enjoyment' (relatively more rapid rate of acceleration) with higher octane-rated fuels within the ranges recommended for the 2.0 EcoBoost Escape. And all of this within perfectly prudent and legal parameters from a driving safety standpoint.

There's no question, that's not an economical driving style, physics dictates that more fuel is required to accelerate faster so if one chooses that style it is impossible to also enjoy the better mpg that higher octane combined with less rapid acceleration might provide.

But, if a driver enjoys that driving style and is willing to pay for the privilege ..... well, that when it's nice to drive an EcoBoost that can optimize for a wide range of octane ratings (and nice to have the freedom to exercise the option).

The payback isn't measured in dollars saved, it's purchased with dollars spent, as with many fun things in life. And we each have different fun things in our lives (I hope).

....
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post #123 of 133 Old 01-06-2017, 11:55 AM
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I think for most people the lower octane is just fine. For people that go WOT at every stop light, or go run the 1/4 miles down the track, or are towing, then higher octane is noticed. Since my FE is my wife's daily driver I tell her to put in the low octane except in the hot and humid dog days of summer.
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post #124 of 133 Old 01-07-2017, 04:57 AM
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Exclamation The octane pay-back question ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadshow View Post
....On a serious note though I wonder if 2-3 mpg extra would actually save more than the added fuel cost. It would be very difficult to figure that out over a short term I suppose because of fluctuating fuel costs. Ie. the fuel prices you tested 87 at would have to be similar to the month you test 91, respectively. You'd have to want to know really badly to put the time and effort it would take to figure out......
Your question stuck with me so I finally went back into my spreadsheet where I've recorded the pump price for all grades of gas when I filled my Escape to see what might be indicated. In my region the grades are 87, 89, 93 - all with up to 10% ethanol - and all my prices are a tier 1 source (usually Chevron/Texaco).

Looking at the difference between 87 and 89 octane .... I'd have to average +3.4mpg to break-even using the higher octane gas all other things being equal.

Looking at the difference between 87 and 93 octane .... I'd have to average +5.8mpg to break-even using the higher octane gas all other things being equal.

This based on data from 136 fillups between November 2013 and January 2017. This using a 'base' of 24.4 mpg which is my 38k mile lifetime average (obviously reflective of my particular driving habits/style).

Not a 'perfectly scientific' study of the question, but IMHO likely very close to good average number for the required 'payback' mpg improvement.

As to whether or not one could realize the mileage improvements required to achieve the payback by using higher-octane fuel in 2.0 Escape ...... My pure guess just from looking at that data is no for either case assuming all other things equal (e.g. no change in driving habit/style).

Thanks for the question to prompt the fun/interesting 'study' ! Here more than ever it's most appropriate to say .... "YMMV"



I knew that recording all that gas-price and mileage data would yield some fun with numbers someday ;-)
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post #125 of 133 Old 01-07-2017, 07:45 AM
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More fun with numbers attached, just FYI. Actual data for the Escape in my sig-line, Nov 2013 to Jan 2017. All data is calculated from gas pump and odometer values - not any IPC mileage average display numbers.

I switched to 93 at ~8500 miles in June of 2014 as a 'test'..... never looked back, I enjoy the fun too much and the pay-as-you-go cost is worth it to me.

The "trend line" generated by Excel was a bit of a surprise - forced me to go back and look at my rolling lifetime average numbers and I now realize I have had a very slight increase in the average MPG over time (the joy revealed by a graphic plot ;-).

Lacking a threshold proximate to the change from 87 to 93 octane I don't think that's the reason ...... maybe my Escape actually has 'loosened-up' a bit over time (?).

Whatever the reason, that trend sure seems to blow a hole in speculation that 'dread intake valve carbon buildup' is a mileage issue for at least the first 38k miles. Or maybe my fun driving style is keeping the carbon away (I've not pulled my intake to peek) ...

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post #126 of 133 Old 01-09-2017, 10:12 PM
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Nice videos from a Ford tech but it does nothing to back up your statement on how the a lower octane rating relates to more carbon build up.
How To Fix The Ford EcoBoost Problems | eBay
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So direct engine is awesome, that much is true however what they overlooked was the fact that the valves aren't being washed with fuel anymore. This allows for a build up of unburned fuel, oil, sulfuric acid, water and oil. If these are not evacuated from the engine you will have carbon build up, a hard abrasive compound that will decrease fuel economy, power and engine longevity.

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post #127 of 133 Old 01-09-2017, 10:49 PM
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Link to credible sources on carbon build up related to octane?
How To Fix The Ford EcoBoost Problems | eBay

This does not specifically refer to the 2017 2.0L EcoBoost engine. I have read that Ford has changed the valve setup in the EcoBoost engines. The perpose for this was to hold the intake valves open for an instant to allow the fuel/air mixture to backwash the top of the intake valves. Thus washing any carbon build up loose from the topside of the intake valves. I have yet to find out when this openening sequence happens. I would like to find out if this could be effecting the gas milage.
If a CatchCan system is installed and removes the issue of crankcase vapours fouling intake valves can the valve opening durations be reset to their original sequence? Hopefully improving the gas milage.

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post #128 of 133 Old 01-10-2017, 01:48 AM
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@islandcustom ..... Still waiting, along with @SteveTurbo , for anything that ties octane to carbon buildup as you originally alleged.

DI and it's potential relationship to carbon buildup is a totally different matter, not the subject of this thread but well-flogged in other threads.

Oh, and a "credible" source would certainly be something other than an ebay 'fake-news formatted' sales pitch specifically published by a vendor that gains from selling a 'solution' to the alleged problem.

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post #129 of 133 Old 01-10-2017, 09:06 AM
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Exactly

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@islandcustom ..... Still waiting, along with @SteveTurbo , for anything that ties octane to carbon buildup as you originally alleged.

DI and it's potential relationship to carbon buildup is a totally different matter, not the subject of this thread but well-flogged in other threads.

Oh, and a "credible" source would certainly be something other than an ebay 'fake-news formatted' sales pitch specifically published by a vendor that gains from selling a 'solution' to the alleged problem.

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post #130 of 133 Old 01-10-2017, 06:22 PM
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Exactly +1

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